Volunteering at the GRACE Community Gardens can be a family affair.

In these uncertain times, there are a few things we can still count on. Positively, the sun will rise around 6:30 in the morning and set a little after 8:30 in the evening. Surely, the weather will be hot and dry, or hot and rainy. And there is absolutely no doubt the GRACE Community Gardens will continue to grow.

As with most activities at GRACE, it’s the volunteers who do the heavy lifting, scooping, raking, and shoveling that gets the job done. Tarrant County Master Gardener Becca Clarke has set this month’s Gardening Day for Saturday, July 25.

“These summer dates are best accomplished early in the day,” said Becca. “Our start time is at 8 a.m.”

Summer is a great time for our clients who shop at the GRACE Food Pantry. The Community Gardens  yield loads of fresh produce ranging from tomatoes and squash to cucumbers and okra.  In June and so far in July more than 400 pounds of fruits and vegetables have been harvested.  The Community Gardens provided nearly 2,100 pounds of produce last year.

Clients enjoy cooking healthy family meals using the Gardens’ peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, kale, potatoes, radishes, parsley, rosemary, eggplant, beans, okra, tomatillos, watermelon, and more.

Volunteers need not have prior gardening experience, said Becca. “We demonstrate, teach, and work side-by-side with the volunteers.”

Not only will volunteers receive personal training in the art of gardening from a Master Gardener, some bring their school-age children with them and garden together as a family.

Proper distancing and protective guidelines will be observed. Bring your masks and make sure they are cooling and breathable. Children, age 10 and older, are asked to mask, as well.

Nearly all of the gardening tools are provided, but Becca recommends some other essentials for volunteers:

“Bring water to drink! It gets hot, and tiring. A cool drink helps rejuvenate tired muscles.”

“Bring your favorite work gloves. We have some assorted gloves, but a pair that is broken in and fits to your hand is always nice.”

“Sun hats are also highly recommended. Bring your favorite to show off to the other gardeners!”

“Please come down to the Gardens for a visit,” said Becca. “I think you will find that we make things flourish in our rich soil. We have been using only organic growing methods for years, and our soil is rich and productive.”

GRACE clients will continue to enjoy the summertime bounty produced by good soil, fresh water, summer sun, and tending under the loving hands of volunteers. You can be certain your hard work, dripped from your brow and soaked into the soil, will produce nourishing fruits and vegetables for our clients.

We have posted a Sign-Up Genius for all those interested in helping with the Community Gardens.